Life on the road, two weeks into the journey already, and it feels like I’ve been away from home for at least a month. Maybe it’s all the new things we come into contact with when we travel, the people we meet, the information we get almost unconsciously, but these days are so rich and full they really feel bigger and longer.
And yet, I’m effectively working less hours per day than I did when I was at home. Not being in my own space means I have to dedicate time to the people I stay with, the errands I help run, the little everyday things we get involved with when our time is not totally our own. It’s wonderful because it forces me to make the best use of the time I do have by myself, and it also forces me to spend time doing things I wouldn’t normally do.
Like when I happened to visit the knitting club in the local church (can you believe this is where they do it!), where I got a fascinating glimpse into these ladies’ lives as well as their scribbled pattern sheets. I ended up knitting pot holders that I really needed for the place I’m staying at (yes I am like that! 😁) and spending the rest of the weekend roaming gorgeous garden centres and charity shops in search of books and Marvel comics (I even found a big big Dalek 😎).
So I’m finding out that time stretches, folds, expands, and can be manipulated. One hour of focused, uninterrupted work can be worth four hours of “normal” time, and possibly more. But this is something we all know, right? Focused time versus distracted, half-hearted time, we all know about this… right?
So why is it so hard to do?
I found that the key is that word I used up there… FORCE. I’m forced to work this way. I have put myself in a situation that forces me to work this way. Of course, when I’m at home I’m not forced to do it this way… therefore I don’t do it! But what if we found ways to force ourselves into this?
And I don't mean to say you should take hours off every day to go knitting potholders, either! But what if we had a plan that forced us to do some of the work in very limited time, so we can free more time to do other things? More important things? Work that is NOT URGENT BUT IMPORTANT to us?
OTB has a section on workflows and systems, where we learn to plan and prioritize and understand what is urgent and what is important. This usually makes all the difference not only in the running of a business and its success, but also in our quality of life. This taking work on the road is an extreme version of it, and has forced me to really practice what I preach. It’s taken me a week to really get into a rhythm, but it’s happening!
It does come with challenges. I didn’t get to do everything I wanted to do by Friday, and forced myself to leave it until Monday (there’s that word again). Easy to catch up over the weekend, I know, but I didn’t. And guess what, it took no time at all to get it finished on Monday morning. And today… I mean, can you believe it… I’m even blogging!!! :D
So here’s my challenge to you. What are the things you want to find time for and never do. What are the projects at the bottom of your drawer, the books on the shelf you’ve no time to read, the class you’d love to take but never allowed yourself to join? Do you want to learn to sing, draw, ice skate? Knit potholders?
Choose one thing and MAKE time for it. You will not miss it if you use it that way. The rest of your time will expand, you will still get your work done. You will find ways, unexpectedly, when you set out for it.
What will it be? Tell us!
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